Wondering how to get WhatsApp Business API? You are in the right place. Even though jumping into a WhatsApp API integration can feel daunting, it’s actually not hard at all if you follow the proper guidelines. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to get WhatsApp API for your business, quick and hassle-free.
WhatsApp API Integration: An Introduction
WhatsApp Business API is a solution for companies that want multiple-user access to the platform and improved capabilities for messaging at scale. It offers advanced features that businesses won’t find on the WhatsApp Business App. For instance, broadcasts are not limited to 256 contacts at a time.
Perhaps you’re wondering, is WhatsApp API free? The answer is no. These are the costs businesses must pay for:
- A phone number to create a WhatsApp API account.
- A Messaging inbox to receive and send messages. Your WhatsApp API account will be connected to it.
- WhatsApp’s conversation-based pricing charges.
By integrating WhatsApp API with your existing messaging inbox or customer conversation messaging software, businesses can centralize customer data and conversations as well as execute various tasks using advanced automation.
Before applying for a WhatsApp API account, businesses must ensure they are eligible under the WhatsApp Commerce Policy. For instance, WhatsApp doesn’t allow medical and healthcare products to be sold on the platform.
WhatsApp API integration used to be a more complicated process and could take up to several weeks. Now, businesses can get an account and start messaging in less than 10 minutes. Let’s go through the changes Meta has implemented to make it more convenient for everyone.
WhatsApp API Integration: How Easy Is It?
First, you should know Facebook Business verification is no longer compulsory for all businesses, and it’s only required for companies seeking to have more business-initiated conversations or to become an Official Business Account.
Similarly, WhatsApp Policy compliance and the display name review are no longer required for businesses to start messaging. Now, the WhatsApp Policy compliance check is triggered automatically in the background during the WhatsApp API sign-up process, whereas the display name review is only initiated after Facebook Business verification.
After these changes, getting an account has never been easier. However, some application methods are more convenient than others. Make sure you choose the best one to get your account quickly without incurring unnecessary costs and headaches.
WhatsApp API Integration: What is the Best Method?
In this section, we will introduce you to the different methods of getting a WhatsApp API account. We’ll also guide you through the cheapest and fastest way to apply for one.
How to Get WhatsApp Business API: Cloud API vs On-Premises API
Those looking to use WhatsApp Business API have two hosting options:
- WhatsApp Cloud API is hosted on Meta’s cloud servers using its own infrastructure, allowing developers to use WhatsApp's messaging capabilities and storage resources through a secure and scalable API.
- WhatsApp On-premises API is hosted on a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider (BSP) or a company's own servers or data center, making themselves responsible for control and security over their messaging platform.
On top of the costs mentioned earlier in this blog, hosting On-premises involves WhatsApp Partner-specific costs. These may include set-up fees, hosting fees and even message markups.
Despite it being costly, this option is sometimes a suitable choice for businesses that need extra support during the application process. It also works for businesses that prefer their account to be hosted by a BSP or themselves.
On the other hand, WhatsApp Cloud API, released in 2022, allows businesses to apply for an account directly through Meta or through BSP like respond.io, eliminating the need for a middleman.
This option comes with a number of benefits. As Meta is responsible for all infrastructure maintenance and development, businesses can have immediate access to WhatsApp updates or new features. For the same reason, slow performance issues and failed messages are minimized.
Most importantly, this choice is generally cheaper than the On-premises API, as Meta does not charge any hosting or set up fees. Businesses only pay for their messaging inbox and WhatsApp conversation charges.
If your plan is to get WhatsApp Cloud API directly through Meta, keep in mind that businesses must complete the application process themselves and will need some technical knowledge and a Facebook Developer account.
So, is there a cost-efficient WhatsApp solution that is also easy to set up? The answer is yes. Keep reading to find out more.
How to Get WhatsApp API: Why Choose Respond.io WhatsApp API
Respond.io is an official WhatsApp BSP that uses the cloud-hosted version of WhatsApp API. The application process does not involve any set up, hosting or additional message charges. These are the costs to expect:
- A respond.io plan
- A phone number for the WhatsApp Business account
- WhatsApp’s conversation-based pricing charges
As you’ll require a messaging inbox to send and receive messages, we recommend choosing one that is rich in features. Respond.io offers much more than an omnichannel messaging inbox, such as an advanced automation builder, flexible broadcast capabilities and a detailed Reports and Analytics Module.
Businesses can fully manage their WhatsApp Business Account (WABA) on respond.io. This includes creating and submitting WhatsApp message templates for approval and managing their WABA balance in the dedicated WhatsApp Fees module.
Best of all, businesses can apply for a WhatsApp API account directly through respond.io. The process doesn’t require any technical knowledge and can be completed in minutes. We will explain this in more detail in the next section.
WhatsApp API Integration the Easy Way: How to Get WhatsApp API Step-by-step
So what are the steps to get WhatsApp API integration done? The process involves three steps:
- Buy or port a WhatsApp phone number
- Sign up for a respond.io account
- Complete the application process through respond.io
Your number should not be currently used with any WhatsApp, WhatsApp Business App or WhatsApp API accounts. To use a phone number tied to an existing WhatsApp or WhatsApp Business App account, you’ll first have to delete that account.
Warning: Using a phone number tied to an existing WhatsApp or WhatsApp Business App account will result in a permanent loss of existing contacts and messages.
You can try respond.io for free and later subscribe to a plan that suits your business needs. If you already have the two items mentioned above, click this link and follow these steps to set up respond.io WhatsApp API integration.
1. Click Connect With Facebook.
2. Create or Select your Meta and WhatsApp Business Accounts.
You’ll need to select a Meta Business Account to connect your WhatsApp Business Account to respond.io. If you don’t have a Meta Business Account, select the option to create one and follow the instructions.
Now it’s time to fill in the name of your WhatsApp API account, which should be your business name. If you are porting a WhatsApp number from one WhatsApp Business Account to another, select an existing WhatsApp Business Account.
3. Create or select a WhatsApp Business Profile.
Fill in the requested data: A name for your WhatsApp Business Account, a display name, business category and your timezone. Business description and website are optional.
4. Verify your WhatsApp Business phone number.
Your phone number can be verified via text message or phone call, so ensure you have access to the number you used. Once you receive the verification code, enter it on the blank boxes and click Next. You have successfully completed the sign up process!
After completing your WhatsApp API integration, your business will get the unverified status. During this time, the WhatsApp Commerce Policy check will be automatically conducted in the background.
WhatsApp immediately blocks accounts that don’t comply with its policies. You can appeal this by submitting a support ticket to your BSP. To wrap this up, we’ll explain what to do after you complete the WhatsApp integration.
Next Steps After WhatsApp Integration
As an unverified business, you’ll face serious limitations if your company sends a large number of business-initiated conversations.
In other words, if you intend to broadcast WhatsApp messages to a large audience, verify your business to be able to start business-initiated conversations with 1,000 unique customers in a rolling 24-hour period.
After completing the Facebook Business verification process, WhatsApp will review the display names of all phone numbers associated with your account. For a successful verification, make sure that your business display name does not violate either the WhatsApp Business and Commerce Policies or the display name guidelines.
If that’s still not enough, don’t worry. Messaging limits can be expanded or even removed to meet the needs of larger businesses and enterprises.
Looking for a WhatsApp Partner that doesn’t break the bank? Respond.io WhatsApp API does not apply any set up, hosting or additional message charges. Sign up for a respond.io account and get WhatsApp API today.
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